Young vintage ports can be quite tannic—especially the 2003 vintage, produced during a too-warm growing season. But, unlike other Portuguese fortified wines from that year, the 2003 Croft Vintage Porto ($28) is delicious and alluring, perhaps because its grapes were crushed not by machine but by foot—a method that lends the wine softness. The result is a purple beauty with a theme of cherries and chocolate and a velvety texture. Drink it now with dark chocolate or in 20 years for a memorable cheese course.
One Good Bottle: Vintage Porto
The 2003 Croft Vintage Porto has a theme of cherries and chocolate and a velvety texture.